Letters from the July 28, 2007, issue of Science News
Gyro Q & A
Doesn’t “Spinning into Control” (SN: 05/19/07, p. 312) on flywheels leave out a significant aspect: the gyroscope effects of a rotating large mass? Wouldn’t it be a benefit for moving installations (stabilization) and a problem for immobile installations?
Palo Alto, Calif.
In the article, the flywheels depicted appear to have vertical axles. I presume that this prevents inertial forces from being a problem when a vehicle using one of these systems changes direction. It would seem that such forces could be a real problem for a vehicle with a flywheel installed horizontally when it attempted to turn.
Perry F. Crabill Jr.
Gas on gas?
In view of the extreme importance of atmospheric carbon dioxide, I would have expected the momentous conclusion that southern oceans aren’t absorbing the expected increased amount of CO2, as well as the assertion that nutrient-enriched water absorbs CO2 less effectively than leaner water does, to be confirmed by field observations. As presented, “Biological Hot Spots: Ocean eddies may not always lock away carbon” (SN: 5/19/07, p. 307) appears to represent nothing more than speculation.
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Fredric M. Blum
Maybe it’s about sex
As I read “When female chimps become baby killers” (SN: 5/26/07, p. 333), I wondered if the sex of the killed infant was determined. In a troop characterized as having a disproportionate number of females, could it be that the chimps are selectively killing females in an attempt to balance sexes in the group?
A hole and the head
“Migraines in men linked to heart attack risks” (SN: 5/26/07, p. 333) states that although men who suffer from migraines are more likely to experience heart attacks, scientists have failed to find a biological mechanism linking them. Such a link seems to be suggested in an earlier Science News article, “A Gasping Heart” (SN: 4/7/07, p. 218), which states that a patent foramen ovale is linked to migraines and that that heart defect, combined with sleep apnea, can cause oxygen desaturation, which can be a factor in cardiovascular disease.
William A. Stephens